Tuesday, September 23, 2008

" . . . giving them aid and comfort . . . "

Does it bother anyone to see Larry King sitting down with (and giving a national forum to) Mahmoud Ahmadinjad, a maniac by any standard, a sworn enemy of the United States, a man whose army fights (both directly and by proxy forces) American soldiers and civilians in Iraq and Israel, who is responsible for the most state-sponsored terrorism in the world, and who is frantically building a nuclear bomb for the express purpose of wiping another nation and all of its inhabitants off the map? 

11 comments:

  1. No, it doesn't. A journalist traveling to Iran to interview their national leader there, or a journalist interviewing that journalist on American or 'international' soil is little different.

    If anything, the interview is in some ways confirmed by the US, as I don't know where the interview occurred, but if it occurred in CNN studios than the US certainly did not have much of a problem with said leader on American soil as they did not restrain him the the 'international soil' of the UN.

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  2. You'll have to present a better argument than "wow" when accusing Larry King of all people, but anyone really, of being treasonous and subject to constitutionally authorized capital punishment.

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  3. I did not accuse anyone of treason. I asked if it bothered anyone. You said, "No." I am astonished. "Wow" is an appropriate word to express astonishment according to English usage.

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  4. It would "bother me" if a journalist committed treason. A journalist conducting an interview with a foreign leader of when said leader is welcome upon domestic soil is not bothersome.

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  5. Was I shocked? No, Columbia had him on campus a while back. Maybe a better question: is Obama's support for direct dialogue wise? If the goal is to weaken the government of Iran, I think the answer is no. Iran's political establishment is fairly stable but not so stable that it could not topple. If the US wanted to precipitate that fall, I believe the best position is one of aloofness. The message needs to be, "Iran is an insect, we could crush it if we want, but it's not worth it." Holding direct dialogue gives Ahmadinejad credibility with his own people. If we want Iran to remain weak or its government to fail then we need to 1. aggressively (likely militarily) stop its nuclear programs while 2. providing our intelligence agencies the resources to clandestinely weaken its government and possibly its society as a whole.

    However, if we hope to liberalize the existing Iranian government then we have to bargain with them. Iran does want increased international legitimacy which would give it greater economic power and a more stable political structure. The problem is that Iran is not all that politically unstable or, for that matter, particularly poor. The West does not hold enough cards for a bargain to achieve much liberalization. When all those cards are used, the end result is a slightly more democratic and liberal Iran with a politically stable and wealthy society which remains belligerent towards Western interests and values.

    I vote option one. And yes, this does mean one strike against Obama (Of course McCain isn't even playing in the same league).

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  6. "When all those cards are used, the end result is a slightly more democratic and liberal Iran with a politically stable and wealthy society which remains belligerent towards Western interests and values."

    Plus, it has the Islamic Bomb.

    I, too, vote option one.

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  7. The "option one" choice is the correct one if one believes that international politics is simply a contest among competing powers, with the goal being dominance. This thinking has given us most of the wars of the past 100 years, and all of the "end times" thinking that regards American hegemony as the right and true condition of the world. Question: why does Iran not deserve to have a nuclear bomb, if it wants one; and does the answer apply also to India, France, and North Korea? Or does the answer depend on who one regards as his friends?

    And why do I have to keep typing in some nonsense word at the end of every one of my brilliant observations?

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  8. The answer depends not merely on who is a friend, but on who is not a genocidal maniac (although there is a high correlation between the two). We make these distinctions all the time, especially with regard to privileges to engage in dangerous activities. Drunks lose driving privileges. The adjudicated insane lose the right to bear arms. Violent felons lose their right to liberty, sometimes even to life. These are not difficult discriminations to make. But even if they were, we have a right, indeed a duty, to make them.

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  9. You have to type those ridiculous words because you have yet to accept the author invitation that has been sent to you, and Google, the owner of Blogspot, provides this tool so as to make sure that you are not a spam robot, but something that can actually read the screen. If you accept the invitation and login, it will no longer ask you to verify that you are not a robot.

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